Threats against a new president historically spike right after an election, but from Maine to Idaho law enforcement officials are seeing more against Barack Obama than ever before. The Secret Service would not comment or provide the number of cases they are investigating. But since the Nov. 4 election, law enforcement officials have seen more potentially threatening writings, Internet postings and other activity directed at Obama than has been seen with any past president-elect, said officials aware of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because the issue of a president’s security is so sensitive.
Earlier this week, the Secret Service looked into the case of a sign posted on a tree in Vay, Idaho, with Obama’s name and the offer of a “free public hanging.” In North Carolina, civil rights officials complained of threatening racist graffiti targeting Obama found in a tunnel near the North Carolina State University campus.
And in a Maine convenience store, an Associated Press reporter saw a sign inviting customers to join a betting pool on when Obama might fall victim to an assassin. The sign solicited $1 entries into “The Osama Obama Shotgun Pool,” saying the money would go to the person picking the date closest to when Obama was attacked. “Let’s hope we have a winner,” said the sign, since taken down.
Racially tinged graffiti — not necessarily directed at Obama — also has emerged in numerous reports across the nation since Election Day, prompting at least one news conference by a local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Georgia.
During the election beginning with the primaries and on to the general election I had received numerous urban legend e-mails about Barack Obama, more than any other presidential candidate than ever before. All of the e-mails were clearly an attempt to smear and slander Obama’s character, with many designed to enflame people. Most of the time I simply deleted them, but they reminded me of McCarthyism, as well as, propaganda on the level of Joseph Goebbels. One of the e-mails I received was so vicious that it prompted me to call the person who sent me the e-mail and ask that person not send me anymore e-mails. The video contained in the e-mail was riddled with so much hate, rhetoric, and propaganda that it reminded me of how the Nazi’s gained power in 1930’s Germany.
While the general election waged the McCain Palin ticket often times enflamed people at their rallies with claims of “palling around with domestic terrorists”, and “socialism” including other language often working the crowd into a mob state where shouts of “terrorist” and “Marxist” could be heard, even signs of “Marxist” were present at some rallies.
Since then the McCarthyist red baiting has not let up from one Georgia Congress, Paul Braun, with comments carried on FOX News without full explanation of the story, which adds to the ongoing McCarthyist smear campaign against president elect Barack Obama.
At one point during the general election I recall hearing from more than one person that they feared for Barack Obama’s life, more than any other presidential candidate and president elect before him. Clearly, our concerns were well founded, given the level of visceral anger leveled at Obama. However, what went unspoken was how that would affect Americans who are black or bi-racial. It appears there is hate filled spill over for them also.
This is utterly disgusting, despicable, and contemptible. We are all Americans and we deserve to live free, free from intimidation, free from fear, and free from attacks based on race.